Esther & Seymour Padnos Metal Sculpture Studio

Saugatuck, Michigan / United States of America

This addition to an existing Metals Studio building on the Ox-Bow campus comprises of a metal sculpture classroom space and support spaces serving the proposed classroom and existing open air Metals area.


Site considerations including prevailing winds, daylighting and view, left the north side of the immediate site as the only viable option. The existing symmetrical building and its temple like shape provided a challenge in that massing options attaching from one side did not look right. Our client’s desire to have a continuous covered walk between the two structures coupled with avoiding “critical dune” areas of the adjacent hill to the north “slid” the added spaces to the west where the massing would reside. The resulting gap between the structures provided the visual breathing room needed.


The act of making small metal sculpture, along with the natural bowl shaped topography informed the semi-circular shape of the classroom. Once inside and seated along the curved workspace, attention shifts from the campus to the beautiful wooded hillside to the north, making for a more contemplative setting. A rolled steel tube beam, following the curved shape, cantilevers out into the space, providing unobstructed views and a sculptural presence to the space.

Architect of Record

Paul Benigno Benigno
turn collaborative
2763 W Francis pl
Chicago, Illinois
Phone: 773 486 5800

General Contractor


Consultant 1

C E Anderson
175 North Franklin Street
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Phone: (312) 750-1701


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